In writing about last evening’s grocery apocalypse solely from my own perspective, one detail that got lost in the mix is E doing all of the left-side driving in a ridiculously large sports utility vehicle.
It’s terrifying. And that’s just from my perspective.
Of course, E is doing all of the hard work and shouldering the even-greater terror of actually piloting the vehicle – the mental gymnastics of staying left, doing shallow left turns and wide right turns, and figuring out how the fuck you “Give Way” in a roundabout.
Even before we could get into the terror of conducting our American-driven death-tank around the unsuspecting roads of Wellington, there was the misadventure of actually acquiring said vehicle at the airport.
We were forewarned by D, E’s Aussie friend on the ground in NZ, that our chosen car rental agency was a little … odd. Perhaps our first hint should have been their complete absence from the considerable line-up of rental desks in the international arrivals terminal.
An exhausted E posed this to me as a feature rather than a bug as I swung a delirious EV6 back and forth by her ankles in an effort to keep her from attempting to surf on the baggage carousel. Our car agency would pick us up and deliver us straight to our vehicle, she advised me as she rang them up to let them know we had arrived and would require a large luggage cart.
It was a concierge service. Perhaps they might arrive wearing a jaunty hat and carrying a little white-board with our names written on it.
I entertained that possibility for the first ten, or maybe twenty minutes of us hovering around our impressive island of nine bags for two-and-a-half people, being the most obvious weirdo, materialistic, “super-size me!” Americans we could possibly be. After that, my hopes began to falter.
(“We’re moving here FOR GOOD!,” I wanted to shout at every Kiwi passing by, “And our household belongings won’t be here for FIVE MORE WEEKS!” As if our suitcases didn’t contain more clothing than most of them had in their entire houses.)
Finally, our man arrived. Sans luggage cart and jaunty cap, but with a large mini-van! Was this our vehicle? He made no comment on that, but started loading our luggage into the rear of the dingy, disheveled old van whose particular scent I might kindly describe as being evocative of a cat brothel.
Hopefully this was not our vehicle. E snapped EV6’s child seat into place and we confirmed that all of our bags were intact. Then, we set out for a short drive through the airport to the rental agency lot.
“Perhaps,” the driver mused, “you might just like to keep the van to drive home? All of your things (he said this very pointedly) fit into it so well. I could drop by your flat with your car tomorrow.”
To which we of course replied, “Um, well, we respect the rights of feline sex workers as long as they are doing the work by their own free will, but perhaps you should hold on to their mobile home and we could possibly have the actual car we rented? If for no reason other than needing to figure out how to snap EV6’s seat into it.
“And also on account of the smell.”
[Read more…] about left side shock (or: The Great Wellington Cat-Brothel / Bird-Genital Tug-of-War)